If “find your passion” has always sounded a bit frivolous, too naive or abstract, and more than a little risky, try this instead: Follow your curiosity.
Why curiosity? Well, for one, it’s much easier and (potentially) less destructive than burning bridges and going all in on one passion, which may or may not work out.
Second, it’s much more fun. Passion is demanding. It requires you to commit everything you have. But curiosity is ever-evolving. It only requires that you’re willing to following your interests, ask questions about them, and see where they lead you.
Some people say things like, “curiosity killed the cat.” While it’s a way of maintaining the status quo, I say they don’t get it.
That’s why I curated a few of my top recommendations on curiosity that I’ve come across this year.
Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It by Ian Leslie [Book]
For those curious about curiosity, this is a must-read (or listen). I’ve been listening to this book on Audible and love it. According to Leslie, “The truly curious will be increasingly in demand. Employers are looking for people who can do more than follow procedures competently or respond to requests; who have a strong intrinsic desire to learn, solve problems and ask penetrating questions.”
I agree. You don’t get promoted for being good and following the rules. More important than being good is being resourceful. Thinking critically. Taking some risks. Creating innovation. Resourceful people are priceless employees because they figure things out. They are ambitious, motivated, and adaptable. They are trustworthy; they solves problems. If they see something broken at work, they take the initiative to fix it.
“Business Case for Curiosity” in the Harvard Business Review [Article]
I almost fell over when I saw that the cover of the September/October 2018 issue of the Harvard Business Review in my mailbox featured “The Business Case for Curiosity.” All I can say is, it’s about time that more businesses hear about the remarkable benefits of curiosity. (Plus, it totally justified the fact that I spent a hundred bucks this summer on an annual subscription.)
“Choosing Curiosity Over Fear” On Being interview with Elizabeth Gilbert [Podcast]
In this interview, author Elizabeth Gilbert explores the challenges and limitations of discovering your passion, as well as the advantages of pursuing your curiosity.
According to Gilbert, “Curiosity is our friend that teaches us how to become ourselves. And it's a very gentle friend, and a very forgiving friend, and a very constant one. Passion is not so constant, not so gentle, not so forgiving, and, sometimes, not so available.”
Grab a cup of coffee, and give this a listen.
When it comes to creating a career you adore, it’s not passion that you’re lacking, but curiosity.
Passion is abstract and fickle. You might feel passionate about something one day, and the next, you’re totally unmotivated to pursue it. Like the resources above suggest, curiosity is the characteristic that will open your eyes to what’s waiting for you. Step into it. Ask the questions. Be open. Stay inquisitive. Pursue curiosity in order to curate success and meaning.
If you’ve got a topic you wish you had some resources to learn about, leave a comment, and I will get to work finding some recommendations. Chances are good that I will feature it on a future post.